• http://seorefugee.com/forum earlpearl

    Chris: I have an alternative suggestion with regard to directions.

    My business is regional and is located in a major metropolitan region. We draw from two states and a major city and it is critical to optimize for the business with geo terms for the city and the states.

    Beyond that we benefit by optimizing for city and town names.

    With that in mind, in lieu of using any of the map services we have a directions page.

    We start with general directions from all points, East, West, North, and South. We then get them on major and finally minor roads to our site.

    The advantages are two fold. Most of the mapping services screw up in the end on the last two or three turns (as they often do).

    More relevantly we are able to list many town names on the map pages. What a coup, without optimization–and because competition is thin we can rank for the business service and town names. In our region that total is small relative to the queries with state/city names BUT it significantly helps. Add PPC to that effort w/all the town names and you are covered all ways.

    Secondly we want to direct people directly into free parking…so we can do that easily with our directions.

    I’ve spoken extensively w/ a webmaster active in local optimization in a more rural area. The majority of local searches he sees are with town names versus state or city names. That is even more reason to list the actual town names from all directions. Its a great way to add significant traffic.

    Dave

  • http://www.netpaths.net/blog/the-best-link-code/ CVOS

    Don’t forget to link images. Images that are hyperlinked have a MUCH better chance at being included in image searches. Even if the image is linking to itself, the signal of intent tells the search engines an image is important when it is hyperlinked.

  • http://www.naturalsearchblog.com Silver

    Dave,
    That’s a good suggestion – including the local terms on the site is perfect. In my metro area (Dallas/Fort Worth), there are 50+ small towns that have grown together to form the metroplex. Most local biz sites have neglected to include mention of all the cities they provide service for, which represents a major lost opportunity.

    I’d just add that it’s probably good to use route map images for your driving directions, if you haven’t already (so there’s still opportunity to use images in this optimization).